NASHVILLE – Grainger County Mayor Mike Byrd said he is not issuing a mask mandate for Grainger County citizens, despite an Executive Order signed by Governor Bill Lee Friday, July 3 granting county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local mask requirements. 

Byrd said he is waiting for guidance from the local health department before deciding whether to require masks in public places. 

Executive Order 54 grants county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local mask requirements in the event of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases.

“While our densely populated urban areas continue to have the highest COVID-19 case rates, our local governments expressed a need for greater flexibility in addressing a rise in cases and that includes setting stronger expectations around masks,” said Gov. Lee. “This targeted approach ensures we protect both lives and livelihoods and safely keep our economy open in Tennessee. We encourage every Tennessean across the state to use a face covering or mask, make sure to socially distance and wash hands frequently.”

The Tennessee Department of Health reported 47 total cases in Grainger County Tuesday, July 7, up 12 from 35 total cases reported a week ago, Tuesday, June 30. Of those reported, 19 are reported as active, up from nine cases reported as active Tuesday, June 30. 

Grainger Today encourages everyone to stay vigilant and wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t possible, and use face masks when indoors in public or in a crowd.